by Jake Fish
US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) and Youth Championships Committee announced that the 2013 U.S. Youth Championships will serve as a mandatory qualification event for the 2014 U.S. Youth Worlds Team.
U.S. Youth Championships 2012
Hosted by Corpus Christi Yacht Club (Corpus Christi, Texas) from August 12-16, the regatta will expand to host more youth sailors and to include seven classes: 29er, Club 420, Formula 16, International 420, Laser, Laser Radial and RS:X. The online application process is open until March 15 at midnight ET. Any sailor who will not turn 20 years old in the 2013 calendar year is encouraged to apply.
'We are excited about these changes to the U.S. Youth Champs and their intended impact on pathway development in the U.S.,' said Josh Adams, Managing Director, U.S. Olympic Sailing. 'Adding these new classes to the U.S. Youth Champs will effectively expose more young sailors in this country to high performance dinghies—a very positive step in the development of the next generation of competitive sailors. We also think the new classes will do very good things for this longstanding championship.'
While expanding the base of youth sailors engaged in high performance boats, the regatta is open to private coaches and also will provide coaching from US Sailing’s national coaches to all competitors.
'Corpus Christi Yacht Club will provide a fantastic venue to showcase the talent of America's best youth sailors,' said Malinda Crain, Chair, US Sailing’s Youth Championships Committee. 'Holding the regatta at the end of the summer gives young sailors a summer-end goal to strive toward. Expect exciting competition, high-quality coaching, lasting friendships and a few surprises all within the unique format of the U.S. Youth Championships.'
The U.S. Youth Championships were founded in 1973 and the list of winners includes many familiar names such as Olympian Andrew Campbell (2000, ’01, ‘02), Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bill Hardesty (1992, ’93, ’94) and Olympic silver and bronze medalist Charlie McKee (1981), now US Sailing’s High Performance Director.
'This is a very exciting development for the Olympic pathway and a step toward providing more direct opportunities for our nation’s young sailors who want to pursue their Olympic dreams,' Charlie McKee. 'Everyone involved is focused on providing a top-notch experience both on- and off-the-water. The increased competitiveness and inclusion of high performance classes is great news, and they will inspire more kids to continue with our wonderful sport.'
The male winner of the Laser fleet and the female winner of the Radial fleet also will qualify for the 2013 U.S.
Singlehanded Championships to be sailed in September at Manasquan River Yacht Club in New Jersey.
US Sailing website